Sing Street: A TFS Nominee That Strikes a Chord
This week, we're highlighting some of this year's Talk Film Society Awards Best Film nominees. Today, Rob writes about Irish director John Carney's coming-of-age musical sensation that represents an underdog choice in many way.
While it's been talked about a lot in the past 12 months since debuting at Sundance 2016, and opening last spring, appearing on several critics' year end lists and being considered something of a crowd pleaser, it's a bit of a shock that John Carney's Sing Street was completely shut out of this year's Oscars - not even being able to muster up one nomination for Best Original Song (I can think of at least five in this film alone that could have made the cut).
The film the story of a teenager, Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), growing up in Dublin in the mid-1980s amidst several problems with the country and in his own family. Music becomes a sense of escapism for him, after he's forced to relocate to a new school that's less than admirable. After fibbing to an aspiring young model (Lucy Boynton) about being in a band and asking her to feature in their first video, Conor assembles a group of schoolmates to be his band (named after their school) - in the process creating something truly wonderful and inspiring.
It's easy to say that what John Carney has made with Sing Street isn't far off from his previous two films Once and Begin Again - all of which are about aspiring musicians who have personal issues to confront that stand in their way of them finding success and making a serious change in their lives. Sing Street also has the added value of being a semi-autobiographical work stemming from Carney's own time as an adolescent. But the sense of charm on display here goes a long way, a feel-good musical taking lots of inspiration and chart-toppers from the period, making for a rather optimistic story that's hard to not be enamoured with in some way.
A lot has been said about Sing Street since it opened in theatres last spring, but in recent months it appears to have been washed away by the hype surrounding La La Land - another musical about dreamers who find refuge in their passion for art. I'm not going to diss Damien Chazelle's film (since I too am a big fan), but in a year that has given us so many musicals of varying approach and style, the fact that only one of them is getting the lion's share of attention feels like a disservice. If you haven't seen Sing Street yet I implore you to check it out (currently streaming on Netflix, FYI) - I'm happy it managed to make the cut for Best Film of the Year at the Talk Film Society Awards as it truly deserves it to be called one of the most outstanding films of 2016.
Sing Street is nominated for two Talk Film Society Awards — Best Original Song ("Drive It Like You Stole It") and Best Film of the Year. Vote in this year's TFS Awards: talkfilmsociety.com/VoteTFSAwards. The deadline to turn in your ballot is Friday, February 17th at 11:55 PM Eastern.